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In a beehive, tens of thousands of tiny individuals work toward a common goal: the survival of the colony.

We see a beehive as a collective, even a super-organism. But each one is filled with thousands of small but bold, six-legged individuals. What if we looked at just one?  Scientists are learning that each bee in a hive is an individual with its own personality and this diversity allows the collective to respond and adapt quickly to their environment. 

A beehive depends on flowers – pollen and nectar are the colony’s source of food. But if the weather changes or if some flowers don’t bloom as early or as generously as the year before, bees need to adapt on the wing. They may need to fly further or even relocate the colony altogether, requiring quick thinking.

MORE:
They dance and may even dream: Six things you may not know about honeybees
Telling a single bee's story in a creative new way

Although the queen is at the centre of any hive, a colony functions more like a democracy than a monarchy, and worker bees have a lot of say. They decide where to forage for food, where to start a new colony, and whether to raise a new queen. They even show the queen where to find a mate.

A Bee’s Diary portrays the life of one bee from birth to death, combining incredible footage with the latest science to capture the beauty of her world, the decisions she makes, and the drama that comes with being a bee.

Watch A Bee’s Diary on The Nature of Things.

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